I spent two years in the dorms and another four at tiny apartments near campus before I discovered Feng Shui. Pronounced, "Fung Shway", Feng Shui is a Japanese design system created to maximize the effectiveness of small spaces. If you've ever seen Japanese housing, you know that they don't have an abundance of space, yet they do manage to create a sense of happiness anyway, and that should give you some hope when trying to create your own in a dorm room or small apartment. Here are the five things you need to do in order to Feng Shui your college space:
1. Get Rid of Crap
The first and foremost tenant of Feng Shui is to declutter your surroundings. The easiest way to do this is to just get a garbage bag or box and pack up everything that is not an absolute essential. Yes, some of those things you will want to keep, but if you're honest with yourself, you'll see that most of them are just extemporaneous.
2. Create Your Bagua Map
The next step is to divide your space into 9 pieces using a Bagua Map. This map will help you decide how to place key pieces of furniture throughout your room, and let you know how to divide your space. While the tenets of Feng Shui demand pretty strict placement of items, you as a student living in a small space just need to get the jist of this ideal, so don't worry too much if you have to move things around.
3. Place or Buy Furniture
Now that you know where your key items should go, you need to start placing them in the room. One of the first things people find as they apply Feng Shui to their lives is that they have too much stuff, so if you find that you can't put everything back in your room, that's okay. Stick to the essentials, and let everything else chill in the hallway until you're done.
4. Get Rid of Your Excess
Now that you've placed your essential pieces of furniture, it's time to declutter. This is often the hardest step for people as they hate to see their hard-earned pieces of furniture walk out the door, but it's an essential part of Feng Shui for the college student. You will have to get rid of things in order to maximize your space, and if that means giving them away, you have to be okay with it. Thrift stores are always looking for donations, and many offer free pickup service if you need it, so go ahead, and get rid of what you don't need.
5. Find Out What You're Missing
So, you've put things where they belong, and you've gotten rid of the excess. Now it's time to see what you're missing. Use your Bagua Map to determine which areas of life you need more support in, and spruce up those areas with life-giving elements like living plants, vibrant posters, and light-bearing candles or lamps. This is a process that will take you months, but that's part of the fun. Now that you've eliminated things you don't need, it will be easy to fill in the details.
When you've finished, your small college space will be more energetic and fun to live in than ever before. Let me know if you've ever applied Feng Shui to your college space in the comments below!